One of the activities that you can experience as a tourist in Thailand is aqua-sports. These include parasailing, jetski riding and, of course, scuba diving.
When you scuba dive, you open yourself up to a whole new world under the sea. The waters of the Andaman Bay off Phuket and other islands of Thailand is home to a diverse ecology of marine wildlife. Would you like to know what marine animals you can encounter under the waters of the Andaman?
Here are four of them:
The Yellowbox Fish
If you’ve seen Mercedes-Benz’s Bionic concept car, then you’ll certainly think of the Yellowbox Fish as familiar. That’s because this fish is the basis of that concept’s visuals.
Visually similar to the pufferfish, the Yellowbox Fish has a bright yellow box-shaped body mottled with black spots. These spots lend it the nickname, “Polka Dot Boxfish.” The yellowbox fish stays near corals, which has abundant supplies of mollusks, crustaceans, algae and smaller fish.
The Porcupine Fish takes its name from the highly poisonous spikes that protrude from its body when threatened. It is also called “Globefish,” because it inflates its body in addition to displaying its spikes when threatened.
Porcupine fish can be seen swimming close to shore in large groups, but they can also be found in deeper waters. They swim slowly, but don’t make the mistake of coming too close unless you want to be injected with a high dose of neurotoxins from its spikes.
Andaman Moray Eels
The Moray Eels are some of the biggest and baddest marine animals that the Andaman Bay can boast of. An apex predator, the moray eel feeds mainly on squids, octopuses, cuttlefish and crustaceans like crabs, lobsters and shrimps.
Moray eels are unique because of their ability to live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. In the sea, moray eels lurk most of the time among corals waiting for prey to come along its path. They will not bother humans, though some divers do coax some moray eels out of their hiding places with food.
Be careful though – a diver lost a thumb in 2007 after the moray eel he was trying to bring out mistook his thumb as part of the sausage he was holding.
A fully grown manta ray may be scary to look at, but these are actually docile creatures. They won’t harm you if you don’t come too close. They’re not stingrays – they’re cousins, but it was a stingray that killed Steve Irwin and not a manta ray.
You can meet Manta Rays off the coasts of Koh Bon and Hin Daeng. As long as you keep your distance, you can enjoy the sight of a Manta Ray gliding through the waters silently, passing through schools of fish. Some manta rays are also known to come close to divers, and then quietly swimming away.
There are virtually hundreds of other marine wildlife species found in the waters of both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Bay. If you’re a fan of scuba diving, this will be an adventure you can spend your lifetime saving for!